I Lied About My Age, And It Was Good (I Think)

I lied about my age.
It just kind of happened.
I slid into this lie like I might slide down a snow-covered hill on a sled.
So easy, so smooth.
Except I don’t normally slide down snowy hills
Because they scare me.

Did I lie?
What is age? What is truth? What is time?
If I feel like I’m 18, or 28, or whatever, why can’t I be?
Especially if people believe me
Or at least pretend they do.
What does it mean to pretend?
That’s another huge topic.

If I see my so-called age-mates and think they’re my teachers or something
Or my parents’ friends
That must mean something, right?

Don’t even ask how old I really am, because I won’t tell you.
I don’t even know.
Really, I don’t.
I’d rather you ask how much I weigh, and I am not kidding.
That’s how bad it is, this age thing.

I remember when my age suited me just fine.
I’m 10 and in fourth grade!
I’m 12 and writing my badass Bat Mitzvah speech!
I’m 23 and in graduate school!
OK, even being 23 and finished with college was terrifying.
But I would take it now.
Oh boy, I certainly would.

I still live like a 25-year-old, something like that.
Not an adult-like 25-year-old who is married or moving up in her company.
I’m the kind of 25-year-old who is shocked to be 25, because that is way too old
For who I am.

And yet, at this point, I would take it so happily,
Being 25 and shocked to be that old.
That’s just where I am.
Except, in some ultimate, stark sense,
I’m told that I’m not,
That I’m older than that, much older.
Oy vey iz mir. What a world. What a life.

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I recently asked a friend: “Why can’t I just be 25?
That’s how I feel in my skin, in my bones,
In the deepest part of my questing soul.”
And he said: “There’s the question of how long you will ultimately live.”
I was furious, but that’s just it.
That’s the problem, in a slowly rotting nutshell.

When I was five, the time ahead of me felt like a galaxy.
I knew it would end, but wow: all that time.
It was more than I could imagine.

Even then, the end terrified me.
But it was different.
Less fathomable, less concrete.
A horrible dream that I could push away
At least sometimes.

“Why would you want people to think you’re younger?” my friend asked.
Well, they should believe I have a giant sky filled with time
To grow, to think, to feel, to create, and to share.
I want to see myself that way, and, sometimes, understanding is collective.

We all think; maybe the universe follows our lead.
Some believe the whole world is an intricate tapestry weaved by our thoughts.
If you think I’m younger, and I think I’m younger,
And so do those guys eating sandwiches on the grass by the river…
I mean… who knows?
Maybe that will help.
What do I mean by that, exactly?
I don’t know.

But I don’t even know how old I am
Or what it means to be that old
Or whether I lied about my age
Or simply dropped a blueprint
For something better, cleaner, and newer to sprout.